Yesterday the Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of musical unprofessionals — travelled to the Portuguese city of Porto and took a pleasure cruise on the scenic River Douro. While on board we gathered in the captain’s quarters and reviewed Portugal’s Eurovision 2015 singer Leonor Andrade and her song “Há um mar que nos separa” (“There is a sea that separates us”). Were we happy to be separated by the sea? Or did we throw Leonor a life saver? Read on to find out…
Portugal’s Eurovision 2015 song
Reviews: Leonor Andrade with ‘Há um mar que nos separa’
Bogdan: Kudos to Portugal for keeping it in their native tongue, but this is perhaps one instance when English language lyrics could have helped. That is because the song by itself is very repetitive and unengaging. It also sounds like typical ’90s era album fodder. It has all the wrong things going for it and not even a revamp could save it. Speaking of a revamp, Leonor needs a new stylist, because she is so pretty, yet they managed to make her look as bland as her song!
Angus: Book me a ticket to a yoga retreat stat. This song is perfect summer Zen. Leonor sounds at one with nature and shimmers over flirty guitar riffs, and dreamy beautiful Portuguese lyrics. A light and sweet touch shouldn’t be looked down upon – amongst the ballads this is a breath of fresh air.
Chris: Extremely dated pop-rock that really doesn’t go anywhere. I appreciate the fact that Portugal have gone for something away from fado once again – because they certainly could have gone down that tired old route – but unfortunately Leonor’s song sounds tired before it even gets to the chorus. There’s a complete lack of urgency and passion throughout the song which means it falls flat. Perhaps there’s a good song trapped in there, but it’s all just not working right at this time.
Deban: Portugal has lost it! Yes, many decent efforts have struggled to make the cut. However, “Há um mar que nos separa” isn’t the best way to respond to those failures. Plus, Leonor’s batshit cray hairdo needs to go! I’m all in favour of pop-rock entries in the contest, but if it hasn’t been beautifully crafted like a Roxette hit, then one needs to revisit the drawing board.
William: For the first 38 seconds of this song, I am feeling it, I’m loving it and I’m waiting for a killer chorus. It never arrives, leaving us instead with a wet cracker that’s both bland and disappointing. Following the bright light that was Suzy’s “Quero ser tua” in 2014, this feels decidedly mute. Leonor has a lovely voice. It’s a shame it was wasted on this.
Josh: Come on, Portugal! Suzy was a pretty great comeback after your year off in 2013. 2015 is not the year to slack off! I’ll admit, the new studio version is definitely more pleasant than the live version. But Leonor needs to polish her look. Her hair is giving me Crazy Cat Lady from The Simpsons. Her rocker dance moves need to go as it doesn’t suit the melody or the style of the song. Definitely the bottom of the scoreboard in the semi-final.
Robyn: The revamped studio version of this song seems a bit overworked, with synths and a Lion King chorus thrown in to disguise the dated rock sound lurking beneath. I like Leonor as a performer, though, as well as the rock chick style and attitude she brings to the stage. I don’t think the song will go far in the competition, but it has the potential to bring a wild moment to the stage.
Our first reaction (8 March)
Mike: I really like this year’s Portuguese entry, especially when you look back to what they have brought us since 2011. Leonor has a beautiful rough voice and she really knows how to use it. I am a big fan of Eurovision in the 20th century and it seems Portugal is with me. If they had sent this song to Eurovision ten or 15 years ago, Portugal would have done quite well. Sadly I think this song has no chance to qualify nowadays.
Padraig: There’s nothing inherently wrong with this – it’s a credible entry competently performed. I’m reminded of France’s 2013 effort, only without the sass and attitude. In fact there’s no sense of immediacy at all. It leaves little impact, and will almost certainly get lost amidst the brashness of the other entries, even if many are of an inferior quality. Needs a miracle to qualify.
Sopon: Yes, Leonor, there is a sea that separates us. And I don’t really care to make the swim across and be on your team. This pop-rock number is nothing special or memorable, but it was the best of a bad bunch during Festival da Canção, so that’s something, right? After mourning Suzy’s disqualification with her super fun song last year, this is no consolation. This is fighting with Cyprus for last place in the semi-final, no doubt, but at least it’s somewhat tolerable.
Our jury consists of 29 people, but we only have room for 10 written reviews. Here are the remaining 19 scores.
William C: 3/10
To reduce potential bias, we drop the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. We removed a low of 1 and a high of 7.5.